Why? Let's take a drive and talk about it...

Christopher Simon - Blackstrap Media

Christopher Simon

Web Developer & Visual Media Designer at Blackstrap Media

We Love Squarespace.jpg

We Love Squarespace

We love Squarespace. Our flourishing CMS romance is in it’s 4th year now, and we’ve developed an extensive website portfolio and expanded our available web services right alongside Squarespace’s fast-paced growth as an industry-leading website platform. The obvious question here, posed to me regularly by potential clients and other curious parties, is “Why do you use Squarespace?” The web universe is brimming with established CMS choices (I think there’s one that starts with ‘Word’) and they all have their pros and cons. This blog isn’t about why I don’t use platform B, though. I am not steering us off the road and over a cliff into the ocean of online negativity. Instead, let’s roll down the windows, enjoy the breeze, and cruise along in the sunshine while we discuss why Squarespace works so well for us. 

Let’s start with the basics. Since day one at Blackstrap, we’ve preached the CMS gospel. It’s quick, streamlined, flexible, and above all cost-effective to use a CMS to build websites for clients. The building blocks are already there for me, and it’s my job (as the dude of all things web at Blackstrap) to pick the correct ones for each client and put them together. I’ve been asked many times if using a CMS works for any type of client, and my answer is always I haven’t found one yet that it doesn’t work well for. We have a fantastic variety of clients, from small businesses to non-profits, musicians to healthcare providers. Every time, I’ve been able to creatively solve problems and utilize Squarespace effectively and efficiently to successfully launch a website. Fast. Agile. Happy clients. Happy us. 

Another question about Squarespace is how customizable is it? Isn’t it just templates? This is common for a lot of CMS’s, not just Squarespace in particular. Sure, templates are your starting point, and that is great for many reasons including the ones I've already mentioned. And, Squarespace has great templates. Beautiful starting points. So, customizable eh? Hell yes. I love seeing how far I can push templates, how many thousands of lines of code I can add, and what unique features and layouts I can get out of Squarespace. That’s the most fun part for me. I’ll add - Squarespace templates already give me a wide variety of features to start with. They are great at constantly integrating new features, adding new blocks, and expanding their choice of templates. Many times, what I need is already there. But, when it isn’t, or when a client wants something more - that’s when the magic happens. With custom code blocks, code injection, and custom CSS, I always get what I need out of the platform. All of this is achievable without ever touching ‘developer mode’ and getting into the guts of the template. In our first year of business, I needed to get creative for a healthcare provider and build a large multilingual healthcare website. Squarespace worked, and it worked well. From that point, we were collectively sold. I really pushed their Bedford template with custom code, asked a ton of it, and it delivered with style. Aces. 

I’ve touched briefly on it, but I’d like to reiterate how important aesthetics are and how Squarespace nails it. They get it. Designed by designers. Modern, responsive, and focused on rich content. Elegant layouts that focus on video and imagery. We love it. It’s also a proprietary environment to work in that I know is stable. That means a lot. Every time we start a new web project for a client, my first step is to take the list of client objectives and needs and browse through the templates (which I’m basically all on a first name basis with at this point) to find the best starting point. Squarespace continues to be on the cutting edge of template design, releasing new designs and features, and I always find a template that works well as my base. Function is numero uno, but great function with eye-pleasing form is website nirvana. 

Our three tenets of web development are 'built for modern browsing, driven by user experience, and it’s all about content.' Squarespace allows us to achieve these for our clients. There’s so much device diversity in the world right now, and our sites built on Squarespace are smart and responsive. The features offered, along with the ability to customize each project, allow us to create an optimum user experience every time. We are all about rich, engaging content and stories told through video and photos. Squarespace is all about it, too. It’s been a great match, a learning experience, and a sand box of creative discovery. The Squarespace community has been helpful and full of resources, including Squarespace’s Circle community which our agency is proudly a part of. There are many choices out there for developers, and it’s all about finding what works for you. Squarespace has been our partner for nearly 4 years and we’re still going strong. 

Thanks for riding along.